Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

Alcohol and other Drug Counselling

The main focus of drug and alcohol counselling is to assist you to achieve your goals to reduce, stop or otherwise change your use. However, it is common to discuss other concerns including personal issues (e.g. anxiety, depression, or relationship problems) or planning and working toward life goals (e.g. career or study issues). After discussing the concerns that led you to counselling, you and your counsellor may discuss whether other services are appropriate, including referrals to other community support services, group counselling, or a psychiatric consultation.


Our service is available to people of any age who live, work, study or spend majority of their time in the Hume region in Victoria.


All Gateway Health drug and alcohol counselling services are free and confidential. You do not need a health care card or Medicare card to access the service.

How to access

Australian Community Support Organistion (ACSO) conduct intake, assessment and referral for our service at Gateway Health.

If you would like assistance from us please phone:

Consumer Intake Assessment Line
1300 022 760 (1300 0ACSO0) Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm

How a Counsellor can help

Some of the things a counsellor can help you with include:

  • information about the effects of alcohol and drug use
  • assisting you to plan to make changes to their alcohol or other drug use (incorporating goal setting)
  • assisting you to develop strategies to prevent relapse
  • support in behaviour change
  • assistance in contacting other services that can help

The following suggestions can help you get the most out of counselling services:

  • Attend scheduled sessions and think about how you would like to use the session before you arrive.
  • Discuss your progress with your counsellor as you go along, as you and your counsellor may over time need to change the work you do together.
  • Tell your counsellor if you are not ready to discuss certain topics - it's okay not to answer questions if you don't feel comfortable doing so.
  • Try to do (or at least attempt) any "homework" suggested.
  • Let your counsellor know if you don't think you're being helped - they may be able to change the way you are working together or refer you to a counsellor who may be better suited to you.

Drug Withdrawal Program

Maybe you are thinking about stopping completely, having a break or simply cutting down your alcohol or drugs. If you have decided to make changes chances are that you have some concerns about the amount you use and the long term health implications. You may be finding that your use is having a negative effect on your relationships, your health or your work, and it may have even got you in trouble with the law.

We can help you with lots of things when it comes to cutting back or stopping, the key is to start small.

A withdrawal nurse can:

  • Help you to identify strategies with you for dealing with the cravings
  • Help you to understand triggers and high risk situations
  • Help you to understand alcohol or drug dependence
  • Help you to get into detox and rehabilitation programs
  • Help you to understand lapse and relapse
  • Support you to see a GP

We also provide:

  • a range of withdrawal services including outpatient and home-based
  • support to access residential withdrawal
  • medical, emotional and pharmacological support.

Withdrawal options are:

  1. Outpatient Withdrawal:
    is available to people whose withdrawal can be appropriately managed without admission to a residential service. This involves a series of intensive individual consultations over a short period, followed by ongoing support to help complete the withdrawal.
  2. Home Based Withdrawal:
    This service is provided by an experienced nurse and a medical practitioner where the withdrawal is of mild to moderate severity and support is available from a family member or at home.
  3. Hospital Based:
    the Withdrawal Nurse provides support and case management for individuals whilst in hospital and a consultancy service for health professionals.

If you would like assistance from us please phone:

Consumer Intake Assessment Line
1300 022 760 (1300 0ACSO0) Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm


Pharmacotherapy is the term used to describe the use of medication to assist in the treatment of addiction (i.e. methadone, buprenorphine). Methadone is usually administered through general practitioners who have been trained to prescribe methadone and is available through a range of community pharmacists.

Specialist methadone services may be required when there are associated complex medical, psychiatric or psychological problems. The program enhances links between methadone service providers (general practitioners and pharmacists) and service recipients. Offers counselling and support and crisis management to clients, family members and significant others, facilitates referral to other agencies whose appropriate.

This service is available to those aged over 16 years, however, a minor needs consent from their parents and a second opinion from a doctor in Melbourne in addition to their local GP.

Needle & Syringe Program

This free service provides injecting drug users with sterile injecting equipment, discourages the sharing of injecting equipment, minimises the transmission of blood borne diseases, provides referral services to injecting drug users and provides the safe collection and disposal of injecting equipment in the community. The service also provides free condoms and safe sex advice.

Catchment Plan

Gateway Health has developed the catchment-based needs assessment and strategic plan for addressing critical service delivery gaps in Alcohol and Other Drugs for Hume.

The Hume Catchment-Based Alcohol and Other Drug Strategic Plan 2015 –2018 can be downloaded here.